Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gamers and people alike should be much more upset about Comcast as well as Net Neutrality!

I have been wanting to write a post about this for a while, but I didn't know how to get the point across in a way that people would give a shit about.  Then this person came along and Reddit and did it.  Not only that, but they bashed the nail square on the head.  So I won't even try to do better.  This is about as good as it can be explained.  You all should be much more upset about this than you are.

Keeping it simple, Net Neutrality is a concept in which all network traffic, regardless of port, protocol, source, or destination, is treated equally by ISPs. Currently, we do not have Net Neutrality, meaning that ISPs can, and do throttle bandwidth of certain customers, either on their whole connection, or for specific ports, protocols, sources, and/or destinations depending on how the ISP wants to.
For example, Comcast began throttling network traffic for Netflix, resulting in worse service for those who were trying to connect to Netflix through Comcast. As a result, Netflix now pays regular fees to Comcast to make sure throttling doesn't happen.

This is bad. Very bad. Like the kind of bad that leads to dystopian societies, and/or revolutions.
Comcast now gets to act as a bully, because they control monopolies in several areas, especially since the Comcast-TWC merger, so many people only have the option of Comcast. So either people pay Comcast extra, which Comcast gets to control because it's literally a monopoly for those people, or Netflix pays them a ridiculous amount to make sure they can actually get customers.

Comcast has some serious pushing power, and abuses it. They bribe and lobby to make sure that they can get as big as they want, and control as much infrastructure as possible, so people are forced to use them. ISPs have even resorted to suing others to prevent new competition from coming in. There is so much corruption and lack of education, that it seemingly can't be stopped.

The FCC, which was our only hope for regulation in this, has even just completely switched their stance, to give up on net neutrality, and is even drawing up rules for allowing companies to pay ISPs for "faster" traffic(which would really just be slowing everything down further, and slightly bringing up those specific services). This is likely due to the fact that the new head of the FCC is a former cable lobbyist.

What does this mean for XBL?

Without Net neutrality, it means that ISPs get to throttle anything however they want, with no repercussions. That could very well mean XBL gets throttle to a crawl if anything at all, and they would essentially hold it hostage. Either MS would have to pay more to relieve the throttling, which could easily translate into raised XBL subscription prices, or, we would have to pay the ISPs ourselves to relieve the throttling just for us, which means even higher internet service prices.

Even with either party paying ISPs to relieve throttling, it could still mean that ISPs would just throttle it down further. There is nothing stopping them from doing as they please anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Competition stops them.

    ...I'm happy to live in an area where there IS competition from ISPs. It's pretty great.

    FCC regulation is in no way a good thing.
    ^Goes to a let-me-google-that-for-you to a Wall Street Journal article, because WSJ's site allows you to view things from a Google search but not from other means without a subscription.